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New Museum Opens Major Survey Exhibition: “Ghosts in the Machine”

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Photo: Henrik Olesen, The Body is a Machine, 2010 Oil on canvas, 40 x 31 in (100 x 80 cm). Collection Kunstmuseum Basel. Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne

The New Museum continues to amaze with its ambitious, museum-wide thematic survey exhibitions that fill every crevice of its three main galleries, and lean toward examining artistic inquiry and production. This Wednesday, with the opening of “Ghosts in the Machine,” the Museum takes on technology, tackling themes related to “the constantly shifting relationship between humans, machines, and 
art.” International in scope and spanning more than fifty years, Ghosts showcases over seventy contemporary artists, writers, and visionaries from fifteen countries, whose work, according to the Museum’s website, “ has explored the fears and aspirations generated by the technology of their time”.

Mixed throughout the installation will be works by a diverse range of historical figures such as the “reconstructions of lost works and realizations of dystopian mechanical devices invented by figures
like Franz Kafka and Raymond Roussel.”  In addition, Ghosts will re-examine the illusionary abstraction of Op art, and include several kinetic and “programmed” artworks and expanded cinema pieces. One highlight is the reconstruction of Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie-Drome (1963–66), an “immersive cinematic environment where the viewer is bathed in a constant stream of moving images, anticipating the fusion of information and the body, typical of the digital era.”

If looking at the art is not enough, at 7pm, you can get inside the head of artist Otto Piene (German, born 1928), a leading figure in kinetic art and founding member of the group ZERO, initiated in 1957, during an inter-generational conversation about art and technology with exhibition curator Massimiliano Gioni.

Ghosts in the Machine / July 18 to September 30 / Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions, and Gary Carrion-Murayari, Curator/ New Museum /  235 Bowery / Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm. Thursdays 11am – 9pm / Admission $14.


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